Pump it up: challenges and opportunities for pumped storage hydropower

Nusa Dua 1-4
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
11:30 – 12:30 WITA


Pumped storage hydropower plays a crucial role in strengthening grids around the world through its flexibility and dispatchability. As the world’s most proven and mature storage technology, it already provides around 90% of installed electricity storage globally.  

However, as countries plan for their net zero targets, substantially more pumped storage is needed to support the integration of variable renewable energy. There is tremendous potential for further development; a ground-breaking study by the Australian National University in 2021 identified more than half a million potential sites for off-river pumped storage development around the world, amounting to around 23 million GWh of storage capacity.  

This session will focus on new developments in pumped storage hydropower, exciting policy announcements, and how the massive potential for pumped storage hydropower can be harnessed to drive forward the clean energy transition. 


  • Alex Campbell, Director Policy and Partnerships, LDES Council (Moderator)
  • Andrew Blakers, Professor, Australian National University
  • Malcolm Turnbull, President of IHA and former Prime Minister of Australia
  • Andi Schmiedel, Head of Large Hydro Business Development & Service, Voith Hydro
  • Bob Tilbury, Market Director ANZ, SMEC 
  • Huang Ai Guo, Engineer, China Three Gorges Corporation
  • Kelly Rogers, Policy and Communications Manager, National Hydropower Association (NHA)

Session objectives

  • Discuss the need for rapid acceleration of pumped storage hydropower and the massive potential for sites that would have minimal environmental impact
  • Discuss the latest guidance and recommendations on how pumped storage hydropower can best support the energy transition
  • Present recommendations on government policies and how to incentivise investors in the private sector


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